I flew into Houston an entire week before Abbie's wedding. As the plane lifted above the misty clouds covering Atlanta, my view heading west was of the sunset, and you know how I love to photograph the world from up high! It gets me every time. It's always one of the highlights of flying for me...seeing God's beauty at 30,000 feet. As the crew readied to make our final descent into Houston, I had never been on a plane so quiet...even the children were silent. Looking back on that moment, maybe it was slightly prophetic -- a sign that this week was gonna be one filled with busy times but quiet moments and peaceful hearts.
We dove right into the pre-wedding week with a host of things to do and a list of chores to check off as long as my arm. But in actuality, we probably got started checking things off that list around Tuesday. The first few days Abbie had to finish up some work, teach a class, tie up some loose ends, and take a little time with her mama to lunch and dream about the big day. Every time I go to Houston I visit a new restaurant (this time was no exception), but I also re-visited a place I haven't been in about 25 years, La Madeleine. It was delish! We have them in Atlanta and I will be going again soon! But I know you don't wanna hear about my eating experiences this time, so I'll get on with it! However...BB's Cafe did the catering for the wedding, and it was some of the most delicious wedding food I've ever had. Pecan encrusted chicken, jambalaya, cilantro rice, and more -- food fit for a king and honoring Chap's creole history. And last but certainly not least, Shipley's Donuts for dessert -- on a five-tiered stand, no less!
Donut Cake, anyone? Yes, please!
I don't care how much you plan or how meticulous you are about every little detail, the last few days before a wedding are hectic and crazy and more than a tad bit stressful! Abbie and Chap knew early on the aesthetic they were looking for and so all I had to do pretty much was take the vision they had, the items purchased for creating that vision, and make sure it all came together. Easy enough, right, no pressure!!! As the mother of the bride, I felt that it was my duty to make sure it was everything they pictured and I felt responsible. But Abbie had asked a precious friend to coordinate and, let me tell you, she was the glue that held that day together (I love you, Brooke!). But it all came together in one minimalist "greenery/white candles/and touches-of-gold" aesthetic that had truly a WOW factor. It was stunning! Which reinforced in me that less is almost always more. The only flowers to be seen were in the bride's bouquet and the attendants' tiny nosegays, but it was a breathtaking scene when people began to arrive and the room was aglow. The ceremony and reception took place at the Houston Event Venue, which is an old steel warehouse where a lot of the steel that went into the skyscrapers in Houston had been stored in the past. It was rustic, it was historic, it was elegant...a juxtaposition of the old and the new and all the things they love!
Having been involved in multiple weddings of family and friends' children and also having photographed quite a few, I know only too well that things can go wrong...usually it's something minor and many times it's one of the memories that can still bring a smile to your face when you reflect upon that day years down the road. The rental company who was bringing the tables, chairs and tableware showed up an hour and a half late, which sent the set-up crew into panic mode but somehow the very capable team of friends helping out made it happen in record time...one mishap that wasn't very pleasant at the time, but reminded everyone of what can be done when folks pull together! My very capable son-in-law shared in the officiating and served communion to Abbie and Chap, and then they served communion to their parents which, in and of itself, is something we're not likely to forget in the distant future. But there's one thing about that part of the ceremony we will always likely chuckle about. When Adam was ready to administer the elements, there was a lovely loaf of bread in the dish, but no wine in the cup. Handling it like a champ, he quietly asked the couple if we were just gonna pretend there was wine and, receiving a negative to that, handed the cup to Pastor Rudy who gallantly scampered to the back and returned with wine for communion. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony! We all have visions and the expectation of that vision being manifested to perfection and, even though there are usually uh-oh's, the things that go right far outweigh the things that go wrong. No matter what mishaps seem to sometimes work their way into weddings, the couple always ends up married and luckily life goes on, hopefully to a fantastic honeymoon where they can rest from all the craziness!
I am a very blessed woman to have added to my family a man such as Joel Chap Edmonson. He is compassionate, wise beyond his years, responsible, loves my girl beyond measure, and a million other qualities there's not enough space to list. I know down the road I will grow to love him even more than I do now, and I wish my baby daughter and him many years of love, growth, and laughter. I am so incredibly fortunate to have two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law that most women can only hope for. They are a beautiful addition to our family and I am so beyond grateful for these "children" God has given me.
To Abbie and Chap, may God bless you abundantly in the years to come, and may all your dreams come true.
I love you both!
"Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning.
Yeah, everything is beautiful."
**Postscript: For all the precious family and friends who flew to Houston, helped with anything and everything they could, and to one special lady who worked like a dog (you know who you are), a million thank-you's for helping to make this day magical.
Posted by CC
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